Major news networks paid very little coverage Friday to the recent report claiming the number of coronavirus-related nursing home deaths in New York was much higher than the state reported.
ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC collectively devoted approximately 10 minutes to covering a report that Attorney General Letitia James released Thursday alleging that the state’s numbers were as high as 50% underreported, according to Fox News.
CNN, where Cuomo’s brother works, spent about eight minutes on the story, and MSNBC gave it less than three minutes. NBC “Nightly News” spent all of 86 seconds on it.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” and “Good Morning America” did not cover the story at all.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo sent “recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals into nursing homes,” where the disease ravaged elderly populations and possibly led to as many as 11,000 fatalities, according to an investigation by The Associated Press. Despite taking flak for the decision, many in the media have lauded Cuomo for his leadership, and he even won an Emmy for his daily COVID-19 press briefings.
During his press briefing Friday, Cuomo was dismissive of the nursing home deaths. “Look, whether a person died in a hospital or died in a nursing home, it’s—the people died,” Cuomo said.
“Who cares?” Cuomo later asked. “33 [percent], 28 [percent], died in a hospital, died in a nursing home. They died!”
Cuomo on nursing home deaths: “Who cares [where they died]? They died!” pic.twitter.com/VECpQNKF2I
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 29, 2021
In a Friday article titled, “Andrew Cuomo’s bad ‘who cares’ answer on coronavirus nursing-home data,” a writer for The Washington Post went after Cuomo for his comments.
“From public policy perspective, though, we should care,” wrote Aaron Blake, the paper’s senior political reporter. “A death is indeed a death, but there are major and very valid questions about whether nursing-home policies led to unnecessary ones. To the extent more deaths occurred in or came from that setting, it allows us to evaluate how significant that problem was and how much corrective action is needed. Cuomo has to know that.”
As The Daily Wire wrote regarding the recent report about nursing home deaths:
New York’s death toll from coronavirus-related nursing home deaths may be much higher than what was reported by the state, especially in the months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) issued a mandate requiring facilities to accept COVID-positive patients regardless of whether those facilities were equipped to handle them.
A report from New York Attorney General Letitia James has determined that “COVID-19 resident deaths associated with nursing homes in New York state appear to be undercounted by DOH by approximately 50 percent.”
That 50% refers to a narrow slice of data – information from 62 hand-selected nursing home facilities and from a time period of just a couple months last spring and summer. As James’ office stated, from “March through August 3, [New York State Department of Health] DOH reported a total of 6,423 resident deaths in nursing homes due to COVID-19, including 3,640 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 2,783 presumed7 COVID-19 deaths.” The data came from New York’s 619 nursing homes, which reported the deaths to DOH.
The report places most of the blame for the deaths on low-rated nursing homes, which received the same mandate as higher-rated ones even though they were ill-equipped to properly separate and care for COVID-positive patients. The blame for the undercounting, however, seems to be placed on the Cuomo administration.